In a sudden and large burst of merger activity, First Union Corp. said Monday that it has agreed to spend a total of $715 million in stock for two thrifts at opposite ends of its superregional empire.

The Charlotte, N.C., banking company said it would pay $379 million for Center Financial Corp., a $3.7 billion-asset thrift in Waterbury, Conn. And it will pay $336 million for Home Financial Corp., a $1.2 billion-asset thrift in Hollywood, Fla.

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